Alchemy Fundamental Darkness [album]
Alchemy casts enchantment
over a mix of inspiration from the
Seventies and beyond, metamorphosed
into the fantastic rock album
Fundamental Darkness that is so
SOMETIMES SETTING OUT ON THE ROAD to establish a musical career takes time.
Nico Tamburella started playing guitar at the age of ten and was actually performing
live in his first band, Stardust, by the age of 14 replicating
solos and songs from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore and Van Halen
while interspersing that with his own compositions on stage, in radio studios
and on television shows in his native Italy.
Nico then formed his own band, Nico's Fleet, which was signed in the late 80s
by the Videostar/BMGAriola label and which released two albums, Born For
Your Ears (1988) and Burned Down To The Wire (1992).
Both albums went down a storm in Continental Europe, while Guitar World USA's
Mike Varney proclaimed him a Hometown Hero, enthusing: "Nico was inspired by
Eddie Van Halen to delve deeply into two-handed playing… with a strong vibrato,
a vocabulary of guitar pyrotechnics and song writing skills, he is someone to
keep an eye on".
Nico's Fleet flew to America in the mid-Nineties and based themselves in Los
Angeles, playing every rock club gig on the local circuit bringing
Nico to the attention of Capitol Records' A&R department, who told him that
they would sign him on his own, on the condition that he built a new band with
Things at that time were looking good, but Nico's personal life in Italy was
falling apart and he flew home to a messy divorce that left him creatively empty.
In an attempt to recapture his musical mojo, he moved lock, stock and barrel
to London arguably the rock 'n' roll capital of the world.
Here was a talented musician, suffering from creative block and arriving in
London with not much more than his two favourite Stratocaster guitars. Those
guitars were stored under a bed and remained untouched for a couple more years
while Nico sorted himself out.
But Nico was never destined to stay down for long. He discovered Nichiren Buddhism
and gradually began to lose his fundamental darkness. Having experienced
a Eureka moment in 2002, he realised that his musical mojo had merely been sleeping
and he began practising and playing guitar.
In a passion of pure inspiration, Nico wrote We Will Win, the first song
he had written for some time. It was snapped up by Sony Music in 2003 for one
of their Popular Spanish artistes (Lexter) and was placed on the soundtrack
of 20th Century Fox/MGA movie The Bratz, which went on to sell millions.
Rejuvenated (and refinanced!) Nico built his own recording studio and started
to look for the best rock musicians he could find who shared his love of hard
rock music and were similarly driven to perfection. He first met Candido, a
fellow ex-pat Italian living in London, in a rock club, and recruited him after
hearing his powerhouse vocals and discovering that the two shared a love of
Deep Purple, Rainbow and Zeppelin. Then followed Danny Stanner and Dave Wire,
who immediately felt ignited by the pair's obvious musical chemistry and Nico's
Alchemy was fully formed.
After two years painstakingly putting down tracks in Nico's studio
all the while gigging around London's rock clubs testing out new material and
building a live audience Fundamental Darkness (a Buddhist
term indicating a state of internal hell and blindness) was born.
And what a birth! Heralding Nico's Alchemy as a hard rock sensation, Fundamental
Darkness is hypnotic and devilishly good with deliciously enigmatic and
sexy tracks. Why has it taken so long for Nico's light to shine through from
the dark side?
Laden with positive vibes and music excellence, Nico's Alchemy manages to sound
very established as Nico works his magic to the full; an unbelievable mix of
rockfest to suit all tastes.
Nico says: "What I like in rock music is spontaneity, I don't like chopping
my solos to take the best bits and glue them together; I like to play the whole
solo as one take it doesn't matter how perfect what
matters is what it's got; if it touches you then that's the one."
No Time For Sadness bursts out of the speakers, perfect riff after perfect
fluid guitar riff; immediately immersing the listener in Fundamental Darkness.
This is music to rock to, suitably retro and full of Earthly delights.
The publicity machine describes It's Enough, Miss Sensation, Save
Me Jesus and Shine On as full-on, balls-to-the-wall modern metal
anthems with high-voltage guitar solos, all highlighted by Candido's strident,
soaring vocals. Stylish rock tracks they truly are, infused with energy and
The mesmerising A Leap In Space lopes off into another direction entirely,
fusing futuristic modern keyboards and drum and bass rhythms with intense guitar
segments, before a return to more familiar territory with raucous rockers Sleeping
With The Devil, the superb Fading Away and the gorgeous title track
Fundamental Darkness, while closing track Miles Away juxtaposes Candido's
melancholic rock vocals with Nico's effortless acoustic and electric guitar
fretworks. The latter is a really beautiful track to sign off with, glistening
with enchantingly soft vocals.
Nico Tamburella will not be one of rock music's undiscovered guitar heroes for
much longer once the cognoscenti of the rock world get their ears around Fundamental
Darkness a stunning, melodic hard rock masterpiece of an album.
Nico's Alchemy's stunning and gloriously retro Fundamental Darkness album,
set for release on 23 February (2009) on Dirty Dog Records and distributed by
Cargo, is all set to catapult this virtuoso rock guitarist into the upper echelons
of the hard rock world. This concise ten-song musical tour-de-force simply oozes
class, with Nico's guitar pyrotechnics superbly complemented by Candido's powerhouse
vocals and the incredible rhythm section of Danni on bass guitar and Dave on
drums. The perfect storm!
Fundamental Darkness Tracklisting
1 No Time For Sadness | 2 It's Enough | 3 Miss Sensation
| 4 Save Me Jesus | 5 Shine
On | 6 A Leap In Space | 7 Sleeping With The Devil | 8 Fading
Away | 9 Fundamental Darkness | 10 Miles Away
"Nico Tamburella is the man in question here as lead guitarist,
songwriter and driving force of this quartet, it's from him that the band gets
its name. The other band members help to generate the alchemy by performing
their perspective roles with force and inspiration. This is a hard rocking sound
that owes its roots to the 70s… The material is as strong as the sound of the
band: tight, concise and varied enough to please all. Candido supplies the vocals
with enough power to carry it off but Nico is awesome, so check out It's
Enough, the instrumental title track and the vicious guitar sound on Save
Me Jesus truly excellent stuff!!" 5/5 'Album
of the Month' Guitar Techniques (reviewing a pre-release promo of Fundamental
Darkness, December 2008 issue)
"Heralding Nico's Alchemy as a hard rock sensation, Fundamental Darkness
is hypnotic and devilishly good with deliciously enigmatic and sexy tracks.
Why has it taken so long for Nico's light to shine through from the dark side…?
The perfect storm" Maggie Woods, MotorBar
Check out myspace.com/nicosalchemy